In a world where our coffee is instant and our communication is insta, we expect our love to be the same. But love is not like that. Love is patient. Literally, love is longsuffering. We must wait.
What a powerful thought for us in this season of Advent—reflecting on our Messiah’s long-expected coming, eagerly anticipating His coming again.
“Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting — that is, of hopefully doing without — will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.
For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm, but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
Every strong, luxuriant tree was once a seed planted, a tender shoot protected and well-tended. All of our relationships shadow our relationship with Christ, and all require waiting. Waiting and watching and celebrating and nurturing each other as we grow and mature. Encouraging one another all the more as we see the Day approaching. Forgiving and bearing with one another.
Too often in this season we feel rushed and harried. We cross our fingers that this will be the year we find Hallmark Channel resolutions to all of our deepest longings, and when that doesn’t happen, we pout and grow bitter.
Remember, our Messiah came humbly, slowly, and quietly into the sleepy night. He matured through endurance and ultimately saved the world through suffering and sacrifice. His love is patient. And even if we miss it this year, He is still patiently working that love into our hearts.